Let The Analyzing Begin...

It's Preseason time which means Steelers talk is back on the blog. With the help of Tivo and careful dissection, I've been able to glean these thoughts so far:
  • Our O-Line looks much improved from last year, especially with Hartwig in there versus Mahan. However, Ben's doing a Much better job of getting the ball out of his hands quicker and using his check downs more. He did throw that one bad throw, resulting in a tipped ball and ultimately an interception, but he learned from that mistake, seen by a play in a later series where he was under similar pressure and was trying to make a play out of it, but then you could almost see him stop and think and then throw it out of bounds instead. And of course, Ben still has his amazing escape abilities (shown in the picture above) that has made him such an exciting player to watch.
  • Our D-Line meanwhile looks much worse. The age of the line may be the culprit, as well as the fact that the line Cannot stop the run without Hampton in there, and even with him in there, he's showing to be a bit rusty (or out of shape). We didn't show much pass rush in the first half of the game, and I know LeBeau doesn't like to reveal his fancy blitzes in preseason, but the lack of pass rush was embarrassing for a while, but it started to come together a little bit later in the game. Our D still seems to have the "bend don't break" mentality, reluctant to give up the big plays but letting the other team move methodically down the field on us. I know Polamalu's not in there, but overall our D scared me a little. The only bright spot was Timmons who looked Fierce! Foote's getting old and could not complete a tackle last night, and Timmons seemed to be wherever the ball was tackling like a maniac! I loved it, it was great to see some good tackling from at least One of our Defensive players. Overall the tackling was sloppy and weak. Anthony Smith got in some good tackles, but he needs to be more consistent.
  • Stupid penalties on the offense better be preseason jitters and better not happen during the regular season. We lost at least two third and shorts because of them.
  • I think we'll be hearing "Ben to Santonio Holmes!" a lot this season!
  • The special teams Was looking better until that return for a TD, but I'm not too concerned about one blunder, overall our coverage was improved. Wish we could some more yards on our own returns though.
  • I'm glad Mendenhall finally learned at least One move by the end of the game, before his spin move he basically was as stiff as a pencil. Russell impressed me more than the rookie.
  • Jeff Reed, seriously? After looking like a stud hitting a 50-yarder last week (in Heinz field of all places, notorious for being tough on kickers) you miss a 42-yarder? Drink too much the night before?
I'll keep watching and keep you updated on my observations. I finished watching the game with mixed feelings... excitement about our Offense and doubt about our Defense. Watching the Vikes tonight...

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